Ester Fest 2021

Want to show some love for the Ester COMMUNITY Park?
Come to Ester Fest August 14!! Enjoy great music and delicious food for an even greater cause– supporting the Ester Community Association/Ester Community Park!! $20 adults, $10 youth and seniors, children free. LEARN MORE.

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Open letter to the Alaska Mental Health Trust – Ester Community Association BOD

July 23, 2021

Open letter to the Alaska Mental Health Trust,

We, the elected board of the Ester Community Association, are writing to represent the majority of the Ester community who are opposed to leasing Ester Dome lands to Felix Gold/Millrock for significant mineral exploration including the right to mine, extract and remove gold ore from our backyards.

It is important to note that the Ester Community Association is not anti-mining as a principle. We recognize that Ester exists because of historic mining, and the community currently co-exists with multiple smaller mining operations in the immediate vicinity. Also, there is no opposition to the mission of the Mental Health Trust, or lack of recognition of severe mental health needs in our community and across the state.

However, in the agreement with Felix Gold, the Mental Health Trust declared that the “highest and best use” of the Ester Dome land is gold mining, but noted that resource values include residential and recreational. We represent the thousands of Alaskans who see far greater benefit to those residential and recreational values, and suggest that areas not so critical — or close — to residents instead be considered for gold exploration.

We are a tight, residential community, and actively enjoy access to multiple recreational activities, hunting and trapping on the very land being opened for mining development. 

We strongly believe that the proposed leasing of land on Ester Dome for mining is not in the best interest of the mental, physical, or emotional health of our community, for the following reasons:

  • Loss of access to a heavily used recreational trail system, including the Equinox Marathon, Dunbar, and Fireplug trails, as well as dozens of offshoots and connectors that make Ester Dome one of the premiere recreational sites in the Interior for hiking, running, mountain biking, dirt biking, 4-wheeling, skiing, and snowmachining;
  • Destruction of habitat in a premiere environment for hunting, gathering (e.g. berry picking) and trapping;
  • Impacts to four residential areas immediately adjacent to the proposed lease — Ester Dome, Ester Lump, Henderson Road, and Murphy Dome — by ongoing mining activity resulting in:
    • 24-hour noise pollution, including from blasting, and heavy equipment;
    • Heavy traffic impacting roads and adding danger to travel in the area;
    • Pollution;
    • Increased levels of dust that can impact local residents with respiratory illnesses and diseases, such as asthma;
    • Groundwater impacts;
    • Arsenic and other heavy metals;
  • Reduction of property values in all four areas;
  • The conversion of one of the most distinctive hills and striking landscapes in the Fairbanks area into a mine site, thus impacting views for tourists and residents throughout Fairbanks.

What is worse, most of us would have been unaware of this proposed development had it not been for a journalist reporting on the contract. There was no public announcement beyond a legal notice in the paper, no public hearings, no opportunity to ask questions, discuss alternatives, or express concerns.

A large, foreign company could severely impact our property values, mental and physical health, and our way of life, and all we have is an email address for voicing our concerns. 

We strongly oppose the agreement made between the Mental Health Trust and Felix Gold and wish to remind them that exercise and enjoying nature are the healthiest activities our community can share, and is the only free way people can reduce anxiety, depression, and negative mood and also improve self-esteem and cognitive function. That, we believe, is still the “highest and best use” of our beloved Ester Dome.

Sincerely,

Ester Community Association Board of Directors

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Celebrating 80 Years of Building Community

Ester Community Association 1941-2021, 80 Years Building Community

MISSION: The Ester Community Association is working together to preserve the unique traditions and enhance the lives of the Ester community.


The Ester Community Association, Inc. is a non-profit corporation that has existed since 1941 to enhance the wellbeing of Ester area residents. The all-volunteer organization serves to improve the lives of residents through annual community events, and the ECA maintains and operates the Ester Community Park and Hartung Community Hall.

Each year ECA volunteers give their time and resources to keep our park beautiful and build our community. All improvements to the Park have been accomplished through the hard work of the people of Ester, memberships and donations. Monthly mortgage payments are made from fundraising activities, user fees, Mortgage Meeters and private donations. The Ester Community Association is a 501c3 organization.

Volunteer, become a member and/or donate to the ECA today!

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Independence Day 2021

“Alice” ECA’s Olympia Ice Resurfacer entered the 2019 Fourth of July Parade driven by “retired” Park Czar Joe Geiss.

The people have spoken! The Fourth of July parade will go on.

WHEN: This year the 4th falls on a Sunday. The parade will start at noon (EST – “Ester Standard Time”). Cars/trucks/floats should arrive to Hartung Hall approximately 11-11:30; others should plan to be there to check-in by 11:45. There’s no registration fee or early sign-up – just check-in the morning of.

WHERE: The parade lines up by Hartung hall – goes past the Golden Eagle, turns left on Village Rd. past the post office, left on Old Nenana and ends at the park.

WHAT ABOUT THE JUDGES? Judges will be hidden along the parade route. Typical bribery is suspended due to COVID – but entrants should be aware that they need to impress the judges in the crowd throughout the entire parade route. Be spectacular everywhere – not just for the judges.

AND AFTER? There will not be a potluck or pig roast at the end (sadly) due to ongoing COVID concerns, unavailability of vaccines for anyone under 12, and an abundance of caution. However family units and “pods” are welcome to picnic in the park following the parade. The ECA will have a booth with information on supporting the park, volunteer opportunities, memberships etc. but we’re toning down some of the traditional post-parade activities.

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Spring Membership Meeting

SUNDAY, APRIL 25, 2020 AT 4 PM AKDT
Zoom  https://alaska.zoom.us/j/86484939323

The annual spring membership meeting will be held virtually on Sunday, April 25 at 4 p.m. via Zoom. Use this link to join the meeting:  https://alaska.zoom.us/j/86484939323

There is a waiting room enabled – you may experience a brief wait before being added to the meeting. To reduce bandwith please keep your camera off and stay on mute unless ready to speak.

We have a number of very important matters to discuss as a community.

  • Spring work projects and park clean-up
  • New home for “Alice” – our Olympia ice resurfacer
  • Fourth of July – parade yes – picnic? potluck? pig?
  • Ester Fest
  • Community planning
  • Mortgage Meeters
  • Memorials and recognition
  • Plus updates on our accessible outhouse project, financial reports, and more!

Membership can be renewed online using our Square site: https://my-site-100388-102972.square.site/

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We’ve upgraded our online payment site!

Did you know that you can make donations, renew/start a membership, pay for reservations and make annual Mortgage Meeter donations online? Checkout the newly updated ECA online payment site. (And become a 2021 Mortgage Meeter today!) https://my-site-100388-102972.square.site/

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‘Tis the season to support your community

Today is #Giving Tuesday and organizations across the world are encouraging everyone to consider how they can support their favorite charities and organizations. Like many others, the Ester Community Association felt the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic which forced the cancellation of all our normal fundraisers this year (Chili Feed, Fourth of July, Ester Fest) and led to the cancellation of many events at the Ester Community Park which help pay for the mortgage and maintenance.

There are many ways you can help ECA this year. Go online and renew your membership, become a Mortgage Meeter or submit a contribution. Use our online payment site (Square) to make a donation or renew membership!

Volunteering is a great way to give back too! We always need help maintaining the park, clearing snow from the rink and parking lot, hauling trash, keeping an eye on the outhouses and facilities and keeping the toy collection in check. Your time and assistance mean the world to us and our community.

Thank you for your support and for making the Ester Community the special place it is.

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ECA Fall Membership Meeting

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2020 AT 4 PM AKDT
Zoom https://alaska.zoom.us/j/88534551171

The annual fall membership meeting will be held virtually on Sunday, October 25 at 4 p.m. via Zoom. Use this link to join the meeting. https://alaska.zoom.us/j/88534551171

There is a waiting room enabled – you may experience a brief wait before being added to the meeting. To reduce bandwith please keep your camera off and stay on mute unless ready to speak.

We will be electing board members as well as providing updates on the year’s activities. Annual membership must be renewed in order to vote.

Membership can be renewed online using our Square site: https://my-site-100388-102972.square.site/

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Drone Footage of Ester Community Park

Our beautiful Ester Park! Drone footage by Ryan Osborne with Mark Simpson.
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2020 Independence Day Celebrations Cancelled

The 2020 Ester Fourth of July parade will be cancelled. We’re sure that the Red Hackle band will return again in the future, as they have for more than 30 years.

The Ester Community Association is canceling the Fourth of July parade and picnic this year in the interest of the health and safety of our community. We love Ester and want to keep you safe. Please know that we regret having to cancel and look forward to future celebrations!

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